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Archive for category Islam: The Universal Message of Peace

Pakistan’s subservience to lukewarm defiance   Brig Gen (Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Pakistan’s subservience to lukewarm defiance

 

Asif Haroon Raja

9/11 changed the global dynamics

On the morning of 9/11/2001, unknown hijackers flying two passenger planes struck the twin towers in New York with short intervals, the third plane headed for Washington and struck part of Pentagon building and the 4th plane on its way to Pennsylvania was shot down. The flummoxed US security watched the gory drama for hours helplessly.

The US media blared earth shaking news and cried hoarse over the air terrorism which took the lives of little over 2700 Americans. The world was shocked and the world leaders shed tears of anguish and sympathy over the great tragedy, while the Zionists drew satisfaction that they were successful in hoodwinking the world. 9/11 changed the global dynamics and from that time onwards the world moved differently.

All the three successive regimes of the USA led by George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump played into the hands of the Zionists, American Jewish lobby and Israel, and used excessive military force to destroy the targeted Muslims countries, and to kill, maim and displace the Muslims ruthlessly under a pre-planned agenda.

Each year, wreaths were laid on the graves of the innocent Americans who died in New York, but no tear was shed for the millions of Muslims who were killed by the revengeful Americans for no fault of theirs.

Al-Qaeda blamed without evidence

Since Osama bin Laden (OBL) hailed from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and most of the 19 hijackers were from KSA, it was assumed that OBL based in Afghanistan and heading Al-Qaeda had master-minded the attacks. Al-Qaeda was squarely blamed on the basis of assumptions that it had been involved in attacks against American targets since 1997 and had carried out attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1999.

Crusade against the Muslims

Fuming George W. Bush declared that the US was at war and pledged to avenge. He avowed the Global War on Terror (GWoT) as a ‘crusade’ against the perpetrators without collecting a shred of evidence. The Americans sitting in the hall stood up from their seats and cheered him thunderously, while the world leaders extended their support to bludgeon the ones who had dared to attack the mighty sole super. Not a single country spoke in support of the Taliban regime which had no role to play in the attacks. Their only fault was that they had refused to hand over OBL without providing them proof of his involvement.        

The overall agenda was to demean Islam, which after the demise of communism in Russia was viewed as a major threat to the capitalism, the arms, drugs and pharmaceutical barons and the unjust global international order run by the sole super power.

Israel and India, the two strategic partners of the US, didn’t take part in the GWoT initiated by the US in Oct 2001, but drew maximum benefits from the war.

The UN-recognized freedom movements of the Palestinians and the Kashmiris to free their lands from illegal occupation of Israel and India were categorized as terrorism, thereby giving a free hand to the two fascist and racist countries, Israel and India, to brutalize the Palestinians and the Kashmiris unpityingly.

Denuclearization of Pakistan

In order to disable the nuclear program of Pakistan covertly, Pakistan was deceitfully made an ally and Pakistan readily fell into the honeycombed trap.

India was assigned the responsibility to plan and execute the biggest covert war against Pakistan from Afghan soil, and make it politically unstable, economically and militarily weak and socially divided; subsequently, launch a limited war under Cold Start Doctrine and the nuclear overhang to destroy Pak armed forces. 

RAW along with 14 intelligence units, seven Pakistan specific Indian Consulates and Indian Embassy in Kabul set up a huge terror infrastructure in Afghanistan with 70 training camps and centres in 2002 and were given full support by the CIA, Mossad, MI-6, BND and NDS.

Proxy war against Pakistan

 

 

 

Initial objectives of destabilization were FATA in the northwest and Baluchistan in the southwest of Pakistan. This was done through proxies hired from Pakistan. In FATA, Pakistani Taliban were used as mercenaries. In Baluchistan, the Balochi tribes of Bugtis, Marris and Mengals were brought in line and proxies like BLA, BRA and BLF were created.

The proxies were funded, trained and equipped to carry out acts of sabotage and subversion in the two combat zones. The flames of terrorism were to be subsequently spread to all parts of Pakistan. The MQM was also roped in to destabilize Karachi, the hub of Pakistan’s economy.

 

Pakistan coerced to join Global War Against Terrorism (GWoT)

Pakistan under Gen Musharraf who had been bullied to ditch the ruling Taliban regime of Mullah Omar and to extend full support to the US to capture Afghanistan was later on coerced to send regular troops into South Waziristan (SW) in 2003 to flush out the Al-Qaeda and the ones harboring them. This was in violation of the agreement signed in 1948 by Quaid-e-Azam and the elders of FATA to keep the tribal belt outside the ambit of Pakistan’s penal laws and parliamentary system and to let them be governed by the British enacted Political Agent system and the Frontier Constabulary Rules. The Frontier Corps could only operate in FATA.  

Intrusion of regular troops into SW fueled Talibanization and by Dec 2006, with the active support of the CIA and FBI, Tehreek-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP) was born. Well over 600 pro-Pakistan Maliks, elders and religious leaders were killed to create space for the TTP under Baitullah Mehsud. After the death of Akbar Bugti in a mountain cave in 2006 because of a mysterious blast at a time when the Army’s delegation approached him to sign a peace agreement, the insurgency in Baluchistan morphed into a separatist movement and several Baloch Sardars fled abroad who are being patronized by their western hosts and India. Insurgencies in the two regions were well-synchronized by the master planners.   

Pakistan’s hands tied

When armed insurgency suddenly erupted in Indian Occupied Kashmir in Oct 1989 and gave a chance to Pakistan to even up the score of 1971 with India, the US threatened Pakistan to stay out of it or else it will be declared a terrorist state. Pakistan under Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif (NS) complied meekly and quietly watched the massacre and torture of Kashmiris by the occupying 700, 000 Indian forces.

Pakistan once again became powerless to initiate a proxy war to counter the RAW-NDS covert war after 9/11 that had become an existential threat to its security by 2009, because its hands were tied by the new laws on terrorism framed by the US. Those abetting terrorists were to be held equally responsible for terrorism. India and Kabul regime were given a free hand and have still not been held accountable since the framers of anti-terrorism laws are themselves involved in this game.   

Pakistan’s fault lines attacked

The band of conspirators in Kabul hatched a series of conspiracies and kept funding and arming the paid proxies to bleed the Pak security forces and to create instability and insecurity in the country. To boost the covert war, the propaganda war was upgraded to hybrid war and the moles of foreign agencies deployed in Pakistan aided by purchased Pakistani media started accentuating ethnic, sectarian, religious and political fault lines of Pakistan in order to foment intolerance, extremism and hatred among various sects and political parties.

Keeping the model of East Pakistan where the Bengalis were successfully brainwashed, the minds of the people of smaller provinces were poisoned to fill their hearts with hatred against the ruling government, Punjab and Pak Army/intelligence agencies. Focus has mainly been on weakening the trunk of the army and the ISI which have blunted all the conspiracies and dangerous plans of the adversaries.

Pakistan’s subservience

 

Pakistan’s successive regimes have pursued a policy of appeasement due to which its adversaries have been taking full advantage. Subservience to the US dictates touched new heights during the tenure of Gen Musharraf. Each and every demand of Washington was obsequiously obeyed and no eyebrow was raised on the never ending mantra of ‘Do More’ or the insults and accusations hurled by the US leaders. It was incomprehensible for every Pakistani as to what compelled nuclear Pakistan to mollify the two US installed Kabul regimes which took dictations from the US and India. Hamid Karzai and the unity regime of Ashraf Ghani (AG)-Dr. Abdullah never spared any opportunity to bad mouth Pakistan. Till as late as 2017, Pakistan kept appeasing India as well. Pakistan’s 80,000 human and 150 billion dollars financial losses were the doings of RAW and NDS.

Pakistan’s successive regimes from the time of Gen Musharraf to Zardari and Nawaz Sharif ignored the hard fact that RAW and NDS couldn’t have carried out massive covert and propaganda wars from Afghan soil without full support of the CIA and approval of the US. The trio as well as Israel and the West are on one page. The Quad apart from achieving their global ambitions, they are continuing to demean Islam as a policy.

So what could be the compulsion of Pakistani leadership was a million dollar question asked? The only obligation is that our leaders are too infatuated with the USA and cannot get out of its magic spell irrespective of whatever cost the nation has to pay.

The devastating impact of this one-sided appeasement was that Pakistan lost its nuclear deterrence, its honor and dignity, and anyone could insult or slap Pakistan and get away with it. Pakistan was blamed for all the sins of Indo-US-Afghanistan nexus and was declared ‘nursery of terrorism’, ‘most dangerous country’ and a ‘failing state’. Pakistan took the barbs without a whimper and kept promising to do more to please the double-dealing USA, which never wanted Pakistan to become a self-reliant country. 

 

Pak-China Equation and CPEC

 

Apart from Pakistan’s nuclear program, other eyesores that were unacceptable to the Indo-US-Israel nexus were Pak-China closeness and the CPEC. Terrorism was stepped up by RAW-NDS to scuttle CPEC. Pakistan was lured by KSA and UAE by granting heavy loans and promising establishment of oil refinery at Gwadar, and the US promising activation of ROZs in former FATA and an economic zone at Karachi as an alternative to the CPEC.

A sustained media warfare was launched against China. Major themes played up were: CPEC passes through disputed territory of Gilgit Baltistan; China is a replica of East India Company; Pak-China trade is heavily tilted towards the latter; 90% of the benefits of CPEC are taken by China; China is buying properties in Pakistan at a vast scale and weighing down Pakistan under its loans; Chinese are luring Pakistani girls to marry them, and after taking them to China are being tortured and sexually exploited; Chinese are inhumanly torturing the Muslim Uighurs in Xingjian province.

While Pakistan military made no compromise on the nuclear program, cracks appeared in Pak-China friendship in 2018/19 over CPEC due to irresponsible statements made by Razaq Dawood and some other PTI ministers saying that all the CPEC agreements will be revised. Resultantly CPEC which had galloped fast in the first phase came to a halt for almost a year.

    

Pakistan’s defiance

The first brick of defiance was laid by PM Liaqat Ali Khan by refusing the USA to convince/pressurize Iran not to nationalize its oil. The second brick was laid by the PM ZA Bhutto when he refused Henry Kissinger to close Pakistan’s nuclear program. Both had to pay a big price; Liaqat was murdered and Bhutto was hanged. Nawaz Sharif in May 1998 rejected pressures from Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, turned down the inducement of $ 5 billion and went ahead in carrying out six nuclear tests in response to five conducted by India. In 1999, he was unseated. Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani as army chief lost his cool after the NATO’s Apache gunship helicopters attacked Pakistan army posts in Salala (Mehmand Agency) on Nov 26, 2011 killing several officers and men. This offensive act was a follow up of incidents of Raymond Davis in January 2011 followed by stealth helicopters attack in Abbottabad to get OBL on May 2, and the Memogate scandal in Oct. In reaction, Pakistan Army discontinued military cooperation, intelligence sharing and training of Frontier Corps by the US trainers, and cancelled all visits and courses. The two supply routes used by the NATO containers were blocked and the Shamsi airbase in use by the CIA since 2003 was closed. Situation was normalized in July 2012 after Washington tendered an apology with an assurance that such an act will not be repeated.  

In 2017, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa took a bold stand by stating that ‘We will not do more’, and ‘it is time for others to do more’. The next was his perseverance to erect a fence along the border with Afghanistan and Iran. Both the Kabul regime and the US exerted extensive pressure to stop the erection of a fence along the western border. 92% fencing of western border and 47% of southwestern border has been completed and both will be completed by Aug 2021 and end of this year respectively. Radical improvement of border management was another feat that has been accomplished. Next will be the fake national identity cards issued by NADRA in millions to foreigners, mostly the Afghans including the one held by AG.    

PM Imran Khan (IK) showed mirror to the arrogant West for the first time in his maiden address to the UN in 2019 reminding them that no money laundering was possible from the third world without the tax havens in the European capitals. He also exposed the ugly face of India comparing RSS with Nazis and Modi with Hitler and this has been his consistent theme. Standing up to India’s belligerence in February 2019 and giving a befitting response goes to his credit.

Extreme American pressure on Pakistan by the US to detach itself from the CPEC was resisted. Thankfully, dormant CPEC has been fully reactivated and now the lost time is being recouped with full vigor.

Pak-China friendship has blossomed into a strategic partnership, which is analogous to the US-Israel and the US-India partnership. 

The biggest jolt given to the US by Pakistan was IK’s refusal to meet the CIA Director and Foreign Secretary and then refused to give it a military base for so-called counter-terrorism operations against the Al-Qaeda, Daesh and Taliban. IK’s ‘Absolutely Not’ became a buzzword in Pakistan. Such acts of defiance from the compliant state were stupefying for the totalitarian USA.    

Drop scene for the USA and India

The arrogance and prestige of the USA boasting to be the mightiest and invincible military power has been rolled in the dust by the rag tag, ill-equipped, ill-dressed and ill-fed Taliban after they forced the US-NATO forces to exit from Afghanistan. The Taliban outwitted the occupation forces and the collaborating forces, and the way they overpowered the country was a textbook example of military brilliance. They also displayed diplomatic finesse by engaging with all the neighbors to set aside their fears. Politically they played their cards shrewdly by keeping their Doha political office active, treated the surrendering troops and the people of the captured cities with compassion, and won the confidence of all segments of the society.   

The pugnaciousness of six-times bigger India and constant machinations of five intelligence agencies in collusion with RAW to break Pakistan into four parts spread over 16 years have been foiled by Pakistan armed forces and the ISI, which is a big achievement and an embarrassment for India.

Having spread its tentacles in all the departments of Afghanistan and spent $ 3.5 billion in various projects including a dam in Herat, India is today in a fix. After the hurricane-like advance of the Taliban capturing one city after another, India winded up all its Consulates and RAW operatives have fled away. They have destroyed or shifted all the incriminating documents showing their dirty works against Pakistan.            

Ramifications for the USA

The ignominious departure of the occupying forces and ending of the 20-year war in Afghanistan will have grave ramifications for the USA, as was the case with the former USSR in 1989. It had taken only two years for the USSR to fragment and be reduced to the Russian Federation in 1991. The US not only lost the war in Afghanistan, but it is also withdrawing its troops from Iraq by the end of this year as demanded by the Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Khademi. It has withdrawn its support to the Saudi coalition against Yemen, and is likely to exit from Syria where Bashar al-Assad has been re-elected. China is on the rise and Russia under Putin is resurging. Joe Biden is facing criticism on account of the hasty exit of the US troops from Afghanistan, which in view of the critics emboldened the Taliban to race to Kabul. He and his predecessors are likely to face the music of the Americans as to why they fought the longest war, what objectives they achieved and at what cost and why they consistently lied to them.

The spoilers still in action

The spoilers of peace with India in the lead wanted to keep Afghanistan unstable. While the Taliban kept gaining ground, RAW and NDS continued with their proxy war in Pakistan, demeaned the Taliban and resorted to disinformation campaigns.

Lahore blast, followed by spate of terrorist attacks in Waziristan and Baluchistan, the Dassu attack in which 9 Chinese and 3 locals lost their lives, and the engineered drama of abduction of daughter of ambassador of Afghanistan in Islamabad were masterminded by RAW-NDS. There are indications that the CIA was also involved in the Dassu incident.  

In July, India’s transport planes flew over Iran’s airspace four times to deliver 80 tons of war munitions to Kandahar military base and the same quantity to Kabul for the ANA. The US jets flew from the UAE airbase over Tajikistan’s airspace to attack the Taliban in Kandahar. Indian pilots flew gunship helicopters in support of the besieged ANA troops.

The eight warlords were asked by the Kabul regime to reactivate their militias and to confront the Taliban but the prominent warlords fled abroad and Ismail Khan in Herat is in the custody of the Taliban.

Current situation in Afghanistan

All the efforts of the spoilers misfired and the Taliban have taken full control over the whole of the country without much fighting. Their 6000 prisoners locked up in provincial capitals and Bagram air base which the Kabul regime were not releasing were freed by the Taliban themselves.

After moving closer to Kabul and tightening the noose around it, their fighters entered Kabul on August 15, forcing AG to flee to Tajikistan with his whole team on the afternoon of 15 August without tendering resignation. The same evening the Taliban fighters captured the presidential palace, but the Taliban leadership announced general amnesty to all and announced that Kabul will not be captured forcibly.

The Taliban leadership rejected the proposal of an interim setup for which Dr. Abdullah, Hamid Karzai and Gulbadin Hikmatyar as members of Afghan Rabita Council are working, and want power to be directly handed over to them. The Taliban are in a commanding position to arrive at a political settlement of their choice, but they are likely to share power with others as well.  

In case AG doesn’t tender his resignation in the next 1-2 days, he may possibly establish a government in exile on the advice of his patrons. The Northern Alliance might be once again activated duly patronized by the West and India to brew instability in Afghanistan.

Russia and China are likely to provide full support to the Taliban.

Pakistan is in two minds, whether to go along with the international community influenced by the USA, or to support the Taliban.  

UK’s PM Boris Johnson who had termed the Doha Agreement as ‘a rotten deal’, and had also declared Biden’s decision to pullout ‘a big mistake’, has called for an emergency meeting of the UNSC to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. He has advised all not to recognize the Taliban regime if they take over power by force.    

   

Lessons for Pakistan

Learning lessons from the repeated betrayal and double game of the US, unrelenting hostility of the US installed regime in Kabul, and not so trustworthy relations with Iran which is still aligned with India, Pakistan’s leadership seem to have started differentiating between friend and foe. Most problems have occurred from Pakistan’s enchantment of the USA due to which it had to appease India and Afghanistan.  

The first bold action taken by Pakistan was to give a clear message that the days of fighting someone else’s war and provision of bases are over and Pakistan would only extend cooperation for peace and not for war and conflict.  

China is the only neighbor which has never let down Pakistan and has gone out of the way to help Pakistan during its testing times. Strong bondage between the two iron brothers would help in keeping the enemies at bay.

Pakistan’s growth of understanding with China, Russia as well as with Central Asian Republics are a good omen. If Afghanistan under the Taliban and Iran join this grouping, it can keep the spoilers of peace checkmated, but Iran has its own ambitions.  

The Taliban couldn’t have achieved successes with such a lightning speed without the support of the people. Irrespective of the outsiders advocating a broad based and inclusive government in Kabul, the Taliban’s return to power and re-establishment of an Islamic Emirate is irreversible.    

Future government in Kabul with the Taliban in the driving seat will be in the interest of Pakistan since it would radically diminish India’s perverse influence in Afghanistan, and Pakistan will get rid of the RAW-NDS cross border terrorism. However, in case the insensitive and biased international community dominated by the US decides to ostracize the would-be Taliban regime, Pakistan in its bid to remain in good books of the US, might mellow-down its defiance and refuse to recognize the Taliban regime, thereby once again putting the country in jeopardy.

It must not be forgotten that while Pakistan is good at losing friends, India is good at befriending its enemy’s friends. Twice betrayed by Pakistan, the Taliban could be swayed by India.

The writer is retired Brig Gen, war veteran, defence & security analyst, international columnist, author of five books, Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, Member CWC PESS & Think Tank. asifharoonraja@gmail.com    

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Opinion: Pete King Whipped Up Anti-Muslim Bigotry. Why Is Chuck Schumer Celebrating Him?

Opinion: Pete King Whipped Up Anti-Muslim Bigotry. Why Is Chuck Schumer Celebrating Him?

The Long Island Republican will leave a legacy of division and demonization. Schumer is wrong to celebrate it.

Alex Brandon / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Rep. Pete King, then-chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, during one of his 2011 hearings on Islamist extremism in the United States.

It took a quarter of a century, but Rep. Pete King, a Long Island Republican, is finally retiring. King built a durable following among the Fox News coterie thanks in part to his unflinching efforts to demonize Muslims, racial justice activists, critics of torture, and victims of police violence.

King’s legacy of division makes it all the more inexplicable that Sen. Chuck Schumer — a fellow New Yorker who’s well versed in King’s abuses — would spend Monday morning praising King as standing “head and shoulders above everyone else.”

“He’s been principled and never let others push him away from his principles,” Schumer added. Given that King’s principles included slandering almost any community that didn’t look like him, it’s reasonable to ask what the leader of the Senate Democrats was thinking when he decided to celebrate King’s extremism.

Let’s take a look at a few of the “principles” King held so dearly.

To most Americans, King is best known as the representative who saw Muslim threats around every corner. In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, he became a staunch advocate for expanding the national security and surveillance state into the unaccountable behemoth we know today.

King has urged police to focus on Muslim communities for potential terrorist activity. He whined that there were too many mosques in the country. And he didn’t stop there. In 2011, he led a series of hugely wasteful, McCarthy-esque trials popularly known as the “radicalization hearings.” Those congressional sideshows became fountains of anti-Muslim disinformation, where King made the risible claim that “80% of the mosques in this country are controlled by radical imams.”

The hearings never produced an iota of evidence to support King’s claims.

Henny Ray Abrams / AP

A protester supports Rep. Pete King’s congressional hearings on the role of Muslims in homegrown terrorism in New York, March 2011.

There is nothing praiseworthy in King’s tireless effort to establish himself as the United States’ leading anti-Muslim fearmonger. Schumer should explain what, precisely, he found to admire in any of King’s hatred.

Not content with only marginalizing American Muslims, King has also shown contempt for those protesting police brutality. After a New York police officer killed Eric Garner with a prohibited chokehold in 2014, King took to the media to blame not the officer but Garner’s obesity. His statement was so outrageous that even fellow Republicans criticized it.

And it wasn’t just the Garner case. Just last year, King questioned the patriotism of NFL players who chose to kneel for the national anthem, comparing their kneeling to a Nazi salute. In a tweet criticizing the New York Jets, King claimed systemic police violence was a “false narrative” created by liberal elites to sow racial distrust between communities of color and white Americans.

None of this is new information to Schumer, whose own tenure in politics overlaps every single one of King’s racist and anti-Muslim outbursts. Such divisive, hateful rhetoric runs in opposition to the culture of inclusivity and tolerance that Democrats aim to strengthen.

King’s tenure in Congress was not a noble one. His repeated attempts to strip health care from millions of Americans should not be celebrated as “sticking to principles.” It should be viewed as it is — a nakedly partisan act against the wishes of King’s own voters. Not that you’d know: King’s social media profiles censored criticism of his votes to kill Obamacare.

There is always the possibility Schumer was merely being civil. After all, politicians tend to speak well of their departing colleagues no matter how odious their records. But this is a perfect example of how the veneer of political civility minimizes the true damage caused by extremists like King. It is certainly not a courtesy King ever extended to the communities he terrorized with bogus hearings and incendiary attacks.

It is tragic that a politician whose career focused so completely on sowing distrust and enmity between fellow Americans can still be described as a fairly “moderate” Republican. By enabling King’s antics, Republicans allowed their party to swing to its current extremes. Democrats, and especially Democratic leaders like Schumer, should have no part in legitimizing this Republican march into madness.

The only silver lining of King’s tenure is that a Democrat could win his Long Island seat and begin the long process of repairing the damage King wrought. Schumer can start by apologizing to those communities revictimized by his thoughtless praise of King’s poisonous legacy.


Max Burns is a Democratic strategist, political commentator, and former director of communications for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights,an international nonprofit organization.

Reference-Courtesy = BUZZFEED

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Prayer For All People on EID-MILAD-UN-NABI- The Birthday of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UMA Interfaith Alliance

 

Prayer For All People

on

EID-MILAD-UN-NABI

the Birthday of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Name of Allah(swt),

the Most Compassionate and the Most Merciful

 A US Interfaith Perspective

Our God, our Creator, our Sustainer, and our Maintainer, who possesses Love, Compassion, and Forgiveness, bring peace to your people by showing us how to love each other. Do not lay on us a burden greater than our capacity to bear. Open our hearts and minds, so that all humanity strives to develop the attributes that you ingrained in us when you made us in your image. Teach us how to care for each other in times of pain, suffering, and illness. Give us the courage to embrace all the citizens of the world, and help us to reconcile with people of all colours, races, and religious identities. Let patience, perseverance, and prayer be our means of reaching your highest ideals.

 

Our Lord, forgive all those who have erred intentionally or unintentionally. Give us the wisdom and compassion to undo the damage that we have done to our fellow human beings and to our mother earth that sustains all humanity. Create in us a sense of family – of sisterhood and brotherhood with those people whom we have never met nor known. Let not the unknown to us be the cause of any distrust or injustice to anyone.

 

Create in our bonds of genuine friendship, where we can uphold each other’s rights and stand up for justice, even if we are to be witnesses against ourselves, against our children, and against our parents. Let not nationalism of one nation be the cause of injustice to any nation. Give us the courage to stand up for righteousness with the people who are rich and powerful and who possess compassionate and loving hearts to work for the poor, the destitute, the hungry, and the homeless of not only this country but of any country in any part of this world. Give us family values and a sense of responsibility to fight the crimes and drug abuse that are harming our youths and neighbourhoods.

 

Give spiritual guidance and blessings to global rulers and legislators. Bless this country and its people who live as Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and people of other faiths and no faiths. Our Lord, show us how to work for the common good of all humanity and give us the wisdom to maintain peace and tranquillity for the people of this great nation.  Let every homeless person in each city find a home and a safe place to eat and sleep in our blessed nation, the United States of America. Amen.

 

Allah(swt) you are Peace, through you flows Peace. Give all of us Peace not only in this life but also in the hereafter. Amen.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

 

 

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 United Muslims of America Interfaith Alliance, SSF, CA.

 

 

 

 

 

There will never be peace among nations without peace among religions &

There will never be peace among religions without dialogue among religions

 

Rev. Huns Kung

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Erdogan calls on Muslim countries to unite and confront Israel by Faisal Edroos, Al -Jazeera

Erdogan calls on Muslim countries to unite and confront Israel

Turkish president tells OIC leaders that Israel must be held accountable for the killing of Palestinians in Gaza Strip.

by Faisal Edroos
 Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Muslim leaders to unite and confront Israel, days after scores of Palestinians were killed by Israeli snipers as they marked 70 years of Israeli occupation.

Speaking at an extraordinary summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Friday, Erdogan said Israel should be held accountable over the killings which drew widespread international condemnation and triggered a wave of protests from Asia, through the Middle East, to North Africa.

“To take action for Palestinians massacred by Israeli bandits is to show the whole world that humanity is not dead,” Erdogan told the group of Muslim leaders gathered in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul.

The Turkish president described Israel’s killing of Palestinians as “thuggery, atrocity and state terror,” and said the US’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would inevitably haunt it.

‘US part of the problem

On Monday, just as the US went ahead with the controversial relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem, 62 Palestinians, including five children, were killed and more than 2,700 wounded as the Israeli army fired live ammunition and tear gas at protesters who had assembled hundreds of metres from a 1949 armistice line between Gaza and Israel.

The protesters in the besieged enclave had gathered to commemorate Nakba Day – an event in 1948 when Zionist paramilitaries ethnically cleansed Palestinian cities and towns. About 750,000 people were forcibly expelled from historical Palestine.

WATCH: Turkey plays a major role in US Jerusalem move

The Istanbul summit was attended by several heads of state, but Saudi Arabia, the host of the 57-member OIC, sent only a senior foreign ministry official. Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE also deployed lower level ministers.

Speaking at the conference, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said the Palestinian cause had “become a symbol for oppressed peoples everywhere” and condemned Israel for “brutal massacre” of peaceful demonstrators.

“Who among us does not know the declared siege forced on Gaza Strip and collective punishment against its population?” the emir said.

“The Gaza Strip has been transformed into a large concentration camp for millions of people who are deprived of their most basic rights to travel, education, work and medical treatment.

“When their sons take arms they are called terrorists, and when they stage peaceful demonstrations they are called extremists, and are shot dead with live ammunition.”

For his part, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said the US had become “part of the problem and not the solution” and called the relocation of the embassy “an act of aggression against the Islamic nation, against Muslims and Christians”.

Jordanian King Abdullah II urged for the adoption of urgent measures to back “the resistance of Palestinians”, while Iranian President Hasan Rouhani called for economic and political measures against the US and Israel.

Late on Friday, the OIC issued a final communique calling on the United Nations to form an international investigation into the killings in Gaza; the creation of an international protection force for Palestinians, and for the OIC to place economic restrictions on any countries, companies or individuals who recognise Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem.

Thousands protest in solidarity with Palestine

Earlier in the day, Erdogan told a raucous crowd of more than 10,000 people in Istanbul’s Yenikapi fairground that the Muslim world had to unite and “pull themselves back together”.

“Muslims are way too busy fighting and disagreeing with themselves, and shy away when confronted by their enemies,” he told the audience.

“Since 1947, Israel has been free to do what it likes in this region. They do whatever they feel like. But this reality can be undone … if we unite.” 

Earlier this week, Turkey recalled its envoys to Israel and the US following the killings of the Palestinians and the relocation of Washington’s embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

Tolgar Memis, a German-Turk, said he came to the rally to support Erdogan’s recent remarks and policies against Israel.

“What we’ve seen over the last few years, all the injustice, and what happened earlier this week – it’s simply unacceptable.

“Erdogan has made great strides in defending the Palestinians, something he is obligated to do, and hopefully other leaders will follow his cue.”

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

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ALERT TO MUSLIMS: Far-right Israelis vow to change status quo at Jerusalem holy sites – Middle East Eye.

Far-right Israelis vow to change status quo at Jerusalem holy sites

 

#Occupation

Many see the Israeli government’s volte face on metal detectors as a surrender

A Jewish worshipper sleeps next to his weapon near the Western Wall on Tisha B’Av in Jerusalem’s Old City, 1 August (Reuters)
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Wednesday 2 August 2017 9:22 UTC
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JERUSALEM – Where days before thousands of Palestinians had prayed in the streets around Jerusalem’s Old City in protests aimed at “defending” Al-Aqsa, last night Israeli flags flew and Israel’s deputy defence minister gave a speech calling for Israel to impose its “full authority” on the Temple Mount so that the temple could be rebuilt.

Police closed off the march’s route to Palestinians as around 300 people paraded through East Jerusalem. The march, organised annually for the past 23 years by Women in Green, a settler organisation, takes place on the eve of the Jewish Tisha B’Av festival, when Jews mourn the ancient destruction of the two temples.

Only when the temple is built will Jews be able to pray every hour and every day. No power in the world can stop the Jewish people, and we have to work to fulfil this vision

– Deputy Defence Minister Eli Ben Dahan

“This year the march has special significance because for the last weeks we have unfortunately undergone such humiliation by the enemy,” Nadia Matar, co-chair of Women in Green, told Middle East Eye.

“The entire saga of those metal detectors was a horrendous feeling of victory for the enemy against our own government and we are very disappointed,” she said.

The depth of hurt and anger that Israel’s religious right feels after the events of the last few weeks were on full display.

“This year we got a reminder, after the terrible things that happened with the Arabs, that not everything yet is ours… and all of a sudden we understood how important it is to walk here,” Matar later told the marchers.

Read more ►

Palestinians stand alone in al-Aqsa battle

“Every place we walk is yours, we are walking, and we are going to save Jerusalem.”  

The Israeli government installed metal detectors at the entrance to Jerusalem’s most sensitive religious site after three Palestinian citizens of Israel shot and killed two Israeli police officers on 14 July at the site.

The move was seen as a violation of the status quo by the city’s Palestinians, and two weeks of street protests followed. The metal detectors were removed on 27 July.

Metal detector removal seen as ‘surrender’

A Channel 2 poll broadcast on 25 July showed that 77 percent of Israelis characterised the removal of the metal detectors as a “surrender”.

It was a view echoed in a speech given by Likud politician Yehuda Glick, a prominent temple advocate, who called on the government to stand by the “values of the people”.

“The war against us is behind those walls,” Glick said, referring to the Old City of Jerusalem. “The establishment of the state of Israel and the capture of Judea and Samaria was achieved by people who decided to go against logic and political considerations. Now we have to make our control over the Temple Mount a fact.”

Far-right Israelis and foreigners gather to listen to speeches at Lion’s Gate on Monday evening (MEE/Lubna Masarwa)

Eli Ben Dahan, deputy minister for defence, called for the temple to be rebuilt. Citing a portion of the Torah that talked about the renewal of the Jewish people, he said, “This will only happen if we have full authority on the Temple Mount.”

“Only when the temple is built will Jews be able to pray every hour and every day. No power in the world can stop the Jewish people, and we have to work to fulfil this vision.” 

“It’s not only enough to have sovereignty on paper, we demand from our government to implement its sovereignty and to show who’s boss,” Matar said.

As far as I’m concerned, the Palestinian people are a myth

– Ari Gold, Canadian Jew

Attendees at the march that Middle East Eye spoke to did not have any sympathy for the Palestinian refusal to accept the metal detectors.

“The metal detectors were just an excuse for unrest, the Palestinians should have walked through them like I do when I go to the Kotel,” said Yechiel Goldstein, referring to the Western Wall.

“If the Palestinians can play nice, they’re welcome to stay, but otherwise they should go.”

“As far as I’m concerned, the Palestinian people are a myth,” said Ari Gold, a Canadian. “They’re very good at PR, and they made a lot of fuss over the metal detectors, but it’s all a nonsense.”

The status quo

When asked if the violence that had ensued made him nervous about what could happen if the “status quo” at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif compound was changed, he said the status quo was to blame.

“The status quo allowed them to bring a pistol and kill two people. Why are they arguing about metal detectors, because they want to bring more weapons up there?”

The status quo is the delicate agreement that has governed the religious site since Ottoman times, but firmed up after Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967.

Right-wing lawmaker Yehuda Glick (L) with Deputy Defence Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (MEE/Lubna Masarwa)

While Israel retains control over access to the site, the site itself is under the control of the Waqf, a Jordanian religious trust.

Palestinian fears that Israel is attempting to change the status quo at the site have driven previous outbreaks of violence, such as riots in 2014, and the unrest that spiralled into a round of widespread attacks on Israelis in 2015.

The Second Intifada started in 2000 when then opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited the site.

God brought us to the land of Israel, we are strong, and we will overcome all the difficulties in our path

– Yehuda Glick, Likud politician

These fears have grown worse recently against the background of rising popularity of temple activism amongst some Jews. Traditional orthodoxy held that Jews were forbidden from visiting the Temple Mount, but increasing numbers have ascended in recent years.

On Tuesday morning alone, 1,042 Jews visited the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif compound, a single-day record, according to the Jerusalem Post. Another visiting period will be take place this afternoon.

Numbers have increased from 14,000 visitors in the last Hebrew year, to more than 17,500 this year, with six weeks still remaining, according to the Jerusalem Post.

So, while the crisis at Jerusalem’s most sensitive site looks over for now, the dynamics that produced it are still in place, and growing in magnitude. 

The speakers at the march last night were certainly not backing down.

“The locals have a feeling of victory,” Glick, the Likud MK, said, referring to the Palestinians. “But it is temporary. God brought us to the land of Israel, we are strong, and we will overcome all the difficulties in our path.”

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

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